In the last 24 hours, nearly 100 exotic birds have traveled from St. Clair County to Battle Creek to Lansing.
This was no migration, it was a rescue mission.
Shannon Dingee-Kramer runs Birds and Beaks Rescue and Rehab in Battle Creek because she’s passionate about birds.
But when she got a call from St. Clair County Animal Control Tuesday evening, she knew she was in for a challenge.
“They said we have a lot of birds. I said, 'how many is a lot?' She said I think we stopped counting around 80 and I said oh no,” Dingee-Kramer said.
Dingee-Kramer and volunteers got in their cars and drove across the state to pick up birds the animal control had just seized from a trailer in Kimball Township after neighbor complaints of birds screeching.
The woman keeping them their forfeited her ownership, they’re now in possession of Dingee-Kramer, who after getting them all back to her rescue early Wednesday morning, drove them to Lansing for treatment.
She said they’ve been severely neglected.
“We lost a couple last night. There were some that didn’t survive,” Dingee-Kramer said. "We’re not seeing a lot of sickness with these guys. It’s injuries. Like serious injuries, like there’s going to be some amputations. I’m not necessarily sure it means that she was harming them, but her negligence is harming them.”
Dingee-Kramer estimated the birds total more than $50,000 in value.
Some of them so exotic she’s never seen before.
St. Clair Animal Control will review vet records and meet with the prosecutor before pressing charges, but the director said it’s a serious case of hoarding.
Authorities haven’t identified the woman accused.
After the birds are treated, Dingee-Kramer will take them back to Battle Creek and try to get them into loving homes.
“They are every bit as individual as you or I,” Dingee-Kramer said. “They don’t deserve this.”